Photographer creates Nigerian wedding vignettes using Barbies

If you’re a sucker for wedding photography and/or a lover of all things Barbie, London-based wedding photographer Obi Nwokedi has concocted the perfect visual smorgasbord for you. The 42-year-old — a data analyst during the week and a wedding photographer on the weekend — has crafted an elaborate traditional Nigerian wedding ceremony featuring black Barbie and Ken. The sumptuous 68-photo project he displays on his Web site captures a number of Yoruba wedding rituals — the presentation of the written wedding proposal to the bride’s family, the prostration of the groom and his relatives in deference to the bride, and the “spraying” of money on the young couple as they dance.


View Photo Gallery: London-based wedding photographer Obi Nwokedi drew inspiration from a similar Barbie-themed wedding spread in Italian Vogue to create this intricate simulation of a traditional Ni­ger­ian wedding.

“I was just thinking of something different to do photography-wise,” Nwokedi explains. Inspired partly by an Italian Vogue spread and partly by a French photographer’s shoot, Nwokedi spent about five months working on his photo spread, buying miniature wedding paraphernalia on auction Web sites such as Ebay and using his dining room table as a makeshift Barbie studio. His wife volunteered to sew the colorful traditional outfits. The most time-consuming aspect of the shoot, according to Nwokedi, though, was simply finding the 11.5-inch-tall models.

“It’s hard to find black Barbies in the U.K.” Nwokedi said. “I would go online and start searching for black Barbies from America.” Nwokedi hopes to go into photography full-time later this year.

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